Sheffield United looked ‘sorry for ourselves’ blasts Chris Wilder
Wilder was critical of referee David Coote for the first of two yellow cards he handed John Egan, but was also scathing about his own team, who collapsed after another caution for the centre-back early in the second half.
“I thought we looked a little bit sorry for ourselves late on as well and that’s what disappointed me,” said Wilder, whose side drew 0-0 at Aston Villa in their first game back from the coronavirus lockdown. “I haven’t seen that for a long, long time and it’s something I didn’t enjoy.
“The players need to give themselves a shake. We have to play at our maximum to get a result in this division, we can’t play at 75 per cent or in second gear. We are off the pace a little bit at the moment and I can’t really put my finger on it because physically, the numbers stack up.
“We gave the ball away really cheaply under pressure, we’re not risking enough around the edge of the box and we’re not finding that quality.
“We’ve not conceded goals like that in a group for a long time. Newcastle haven’t had to work particularly hard for their goals.
“We said during the water break at 1-0 down if we kept it tight and opened up late on, we’d ask a few questions. But the second goal really has killed us off and it looked a really poor goal from our point of view.”
Egan was booked after 31 minutes for grappling with Joelinton when the Newcastle centre-forward tried to stop him taking a free-kick.
His second caution was for pulling back the centre-forward. Egan will be suspended for Wednesday’s trip to Manchester United, but the damage was more immediate.
Just 264 seconds after his dismissal, Allan Saint-Maximin, whose pace troubled the Blades all afternoon, put his side in front after a wild Enda Stevens kick missed Matt Ritchie’s cross completely.
Ritchie scored a second when the Blades lost possession in midfield, and Joelinton added a third with a tap-in.
Captain Billy Sharp missed a good headed chance from a George Baldock cross at 1-0.
“Enda’s made a poor mistake, he’s been outstanding for us and Billy has as well,” said Wilder
“You expect the correct decisions to be made, to deal with Enda’s one, you deal with that disappointment (when Newcastle go ahead) and Billy takes his chance. In a short space of time it was three big moments.
“Individually our performances have not been up there yet, there’s a few trying to find a bit of form and as a team there’s certainly no flow to our play as there was in the period leading to the lockdown.
“I can’t (put my finger on it). When the second went in, we looked a bit sorry for ourselves. I didn’t like that because we’re not that type of team.
“We haven’t shown those signs through the period I’ve been here. It was an easy afternoon for Newcastle as soon as the second went in.
“I felt this way a long way back for us. I took my feeling off what the players were producing and the game looked beyond us.
“We’ve produced two bang averages performances.”
Of Egan’s bookings, Wilder said: “John tried to take quick free-kick, the boy’s got hold of the ball, I’ve no problem with that, that’s part and parcel of the game. (Ideally,) the referee pushes both away and gets on with it. Both myself and Steve (Bruce, Newcastle’s manager) were astonished they got yellow cards.
“I think Steve will have been more delighted John Egan has got a yellow than (disappointed) that Joelinton (has) because possibly Joelinton isn’t going to put himself on the line as much as John will.
“The second one was a yellow card but the first one, it’s just ridiculous.
“Does it play a part in the result? Of course it does because we’re a man light and then we make a ridiculous mistake.”
Sheffield United are seventh in the Premier League with eight matches to play.
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